Color of Envy: Green Tsunami makes others jealous of clever writing
I bought this book when I noted the publisher, a friend of mine, promoting this novella. Written by two authors, Laura Cooney and L.L. Soares, this end-of-the-world story starts with e-mail exchanges between husband and wife after a mysterious green wave of fluid washes over the land. With the sky red and mutants forming from every conceivable creature, the husband is confined to an eight block radius with an elephantine foot while the wife is trapped in her office building serving the telepathic mutants, lovingly called the “Balloon Heads”.
The writing style varies from husband to wife, with cuter acronyms used by the wife and more direct descriptions of the bizarre from the husband. Slowly the world is becoming a freakish place where even cars and buildings are mutating, breathing in and out slowly and bleeding when cut. The husband has to deal with a band of mutant degenerates that try and rob him after spending the night with him, all while he has to deal with the fact his sociopathic son is turning into a giant centipede monster, trapped in the school where all the children became crab-like creatures.
The wife is forced into slavery right alongside her morally upright coworker, being forced to feed, bathe and massage the “Balloon Heads” atrophied limbs. For the truly squeamish, I warn that there is a certain level of maturity to this novel as at one point the wife is forced to pleasure one of her telepathic overlords while bathing him. It doesn’t go too far into detail, but the implied is heavier than any written word could be.
The whole novella is perhaps one hundred and sixty pages, not counting the authors notes and whatnot, and is a genuinely good read for those who want to transition to horror in a much calmer fashion. The gore content in this novel doesn’t exceed most PG-13 movies, and the philosophical ramifications of the husband and wife’s actions are delivered in an easy to digest way. I would recommend this novella pretty much to anyone with a kindle, as for the price you’re getting a quality story that not only amuses, but also delivers a few suspenseful moments with the sociopathic son.
My only major concern about the story, as a whole, is the character development. The husband is fleshed out and faces a moral crisis when he has to feed his trapped son the crab-children, and when he helps his monstrous child free himself from the confines of a room where he would have surely died. This results in the child hunting down and slaying/eating other survivors, so the husband has that on his conscience as well. No, the true weakness is the wife.
She whines and complains and picks fights with the husband, and is generally the weak link in the e-mail exchanges (which take up the entire novella). She gets mad when the husband doesn’t express concern for her over her conditions, and that he isn’t trying to rescue her. She speaks out about how she isn’t really sad about her son becoming a monster, and even dreams about him busting her out and freeing her, no matter how horrifying it would be for any others. She even tells a story about how she might not even love him as much as she fears him . . . all in all, an unlikable character.
But even as I write this, I’m smiling. You see, there is a reason we are led to not like the wife; and sadly I cannot tell you what it is without ruining an amazing twist I didn’t see coming. Needless to say the ending of the novel is a truly epic one where the reader is engrossed for fifteen pages of climactic reveal and end. More than worth the price I paid for the kindle copy of the book, and if I had a chance to get it signed I would think about getting a paper copy.
So with intentional weak character development on one side, brief communications on the other, and no chapters to officially break up the book, it feels like one long blog post that is well-paced, with few if any errors. I am adding both authors to my list of “follow them” so that I can keep track of their work.
I am also taking their name off the list and adding it to the list “follow their literature”, as that last sentence looked a little creepier than intended, even by my standards.